PASS THE DREAM ACT BEFORE THE CHRISTMAS AND CHANUKAH HOLIDAYS
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We call upon the Senate and the House of Representatives to pass the Dream Act (S. 1615 and H.R. 3440) before Members return home for the Christmas and Chanukah holidays. These bipartisan bills would protect nearly 800,000 Dreamers from deportation which may otherwise occur following the September 5th rescission by the Trump Administration of the Obama Administration’s 2012 Executive Order on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Dreamers were brought to this country as children by undocumented immigrant parents. Following the enactment of DACA, these young people came “out from the shadows” of undocumented immigration status; they registered with the federal government, provided documents and information about their arrival in the U.S., their education in the U.S., their families and place(s) of residence and other details of their lives in our country. They were rigorously vetted, paid fees to the federal government, and agreed to stringent rules before receiving temporary protection from deportation.
Next to their families, we may have had the fullest experience with Dreamers. As their bilingual, dual language, and English as a Second Language teachers in schools in all parts of the U.S., we nurtured them academically and socially, facilitated their acclimation to this country and its language and cultures, and witnessed their prodigious educational progress and accomplishments. Dreamers possess to an uncommon degree the attitudes, behaviors, knowledge, skills and values we hope to develop and witness in all American children.
Dreamers are contributing to the economic strength of our country and their removal from the U.S. would have a harsh negative impact. According to the Center for American Progress, the loss of all DACA workers would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by $460 billion over the next 10 years.
Dreamers are helping meet critical needs in our workforce. School systems across the country report teacher shortages and project even greater shortages going forward. Many of us have older Dreamers as teacher colleagues in our schools and know of their dedication to children and education. The National Education Association reports that as many as 20,000 teachers could be deported because of the repeal of DACA.
U.S. Voters Back Dreamers. Last month, the Quinnipiac University Poll found that U.S. voters say by a margin of 5 – 1 that undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children should be allowed to stay and apply for citizenship. Corporations, unions, faith-based organizations and civic groups have proclaimed their support for Dream Act legislation. Leading Republican and Democratic Members of Congress have spoken of their desire to achieve permanent legislative protection for Dreamers and President Trump has endorsed the effort.
We implore you to pass the Dreamer bills, without amendment, as stand-alone legislation or as a companion bill to must-pass legislation. Passage of the Dream Act before the Christmas and Chanukah holidays would provide the American people with a cause for joyful celebration!
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